Site icon Placeit Blog

7 Expert Tips for Starting a Podcast in 2024

Iphone 12 Mockup In Portrait Position Featuring A Podcast

Hoodie Mockup Featuring A Podcast Host Recording

Eager to tell the world about your six-month hiking adventures all over the world? 🌍 Perhaps you want a place to share your political stance on hot-button issues? Or maybe you just want to talk about something you love, such as fashion, food, or reality television. A podcast could be your new best friend if any of these apply to you. Before you jump into recording, below are seven tips for starting a podcast in any topic or genre. 🎙

Podcasting can give you an outlet to spread your message with like-minded people eager to hear what you have to say. Regardless of what you want to talk about, the setup and creation of any podcast remain largely the same. Whether you’re performing research, looking for the best podcast hosting platform, just starting your first podcast, or launching your tenth, this post will help you do it quickly and efficiently. Let’s dive right into the best tips for starting a podcast! 😉

▶️ Essential Tips for Starting a Podcast:

1. Create a Plan – Determine Your Podcast Topic and Name ✏️

Let’s get started with our tips for starting a podcast! Planning is critical in any venture you’re considering, and it is even more important when it comes to podcasting. It might be tempting to grab your phone and start recording, but this mistake can cost you a large chunk of time and energy in the future.

Your planning phase might look like this:

  • Pick a topic ✅
  • Research the topic 🔍
  • Decide on a name 🤔
  • Start an editorial calendar with topics and notes 🗓
  • Figure out which recording and editing software to use 💻
  • Gather the necessary equipment to start a podcast 🎧

👉 Pro Tip: When planning to launch, give yourself approximately 30 days to prepare for it.

📌 Note: Don’t get stuck procrastiplanning – procrastinating your launch because you’re spending too much time planning. While planning your podcast ideas is important, it’s also best not to get too hung up on every possible way to make your podcast “perfect.” The ideal way to become an expert podcaster is to actually start podcasting (after you have a solid topic and name, of course).

Select a Podcast Topic ✅

Let’s talk about the topic of your show first. You need to hone in and define your topic before anything else. Think of a topic that is specific, interesting, and can easily be talked about for 50-100 episodes or more. 🎤️

The topic needs to be specific enough to attract an audience in the first place but not so generic that your potential audience gets gobbled up by a more established podcast. For instance, instead of just traveling – opt for something like best foods to eat off the beaten path or a “hidden gems” discovery-style podcast. While you can always expand your niche after you build a following, the more niche you can get in the beginning, the easier it will be to find your first listeners.

Once you have settled on a topic, do yourself a favor and scout out the competition. Give yourself at least a couple of days to research and listen to podcasts in your chosen niche. Then, determine your unique value proposition. In other words, what can you bring to the table that makes you stand out? 🌟

Pick a Name for Your Podcast 🤔

With a topic and some research under our belt, the next step is to develop a podcast name. Podcast names can be direct (i.e., the Michelle Obama Podcast) or subtle and even mysterious (The Sporkful). Neither type is better than the other, but there are general guidelines to keep your name simple yet impactful.

Some podcast creation tips you can consider when picking out a name include:

✔️ 4 words or less

✍️ Made up of simple and easy-to-spell words

⭐️ Unique from competitors

📝 Free of special characters, misspellings, and punctuation

💬 Pleasant to say out loud

💭 More generic than your topic

Podcast names should be more generic than your actual topic because it allows you the opportunity to expand if necessary. Suppose you’re starting to run dry on topics for your show, and its name is something super specific, like Chocolate Cupcakes, for example. In that case, it will be harder to transition into talking about any other type of cupcake. Instead, a name like All About Cupcakes gives you more wiggle room and helps you avoid the need for rebranding later.

💡 If you’re wondering how to start a podcast and make money, check out these tips on how to create podcast merch that will entice your listeners.

2. Know Your Audience 🎧

Onto the next tips for starting a podcast!😌 Understand the wants and needs of your ideal audience to elevate the quality of your podcast from the outset. You can create a deepened sense of relatability and connectedness by adopting a certain tone or even “vibe” that mirrors your audience. When done right, something as simple as your podcast avatar, your selection of intro/outro music, or your podcast cover can go a tremendous way. Just take a peek at the professional designs you can get with Placeit by Envato:

Outside of the podcast itself, knowing your audience can affect how successful your podcast marketing campaigns are and the rate at which your audience grows. But how do you get to know your “audience” before starting your podcast? 🤔

The answer is to consider your niche. Even if you don’t have any audience members yet, thinking about your niche and the people interested in it is a great place to start. If you’re worried about how to start a podcast with no audience, there are considerations that can help. Who is listening to podcasts in your niche? You’ll want to look at “basic” characteristics like age, gender, occupation, education, location, and marital status, among others. Then, once you’re outlining all your podcast ideas, consider things like:

🧏 What does the audience in this niche expect from podcasters?

🤔 What does this audience want and/or need?

👩🏻 Does this audience have a certain type of personality?

🏡 Does this audience have specific lifestyle characteristics to keep in mind?

🤾🏻 Besides this niche, what other hobbies/interests does this audience have?

3. When in Doubt, Narrow It Down 🎯

Pleasing everyone might seem like the obvious thing to do. After all, the more people click on your podcast, the better, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case for a successful podcast. 

You want to steadily grow your audience and have listeners who will repeatedly check out your content. That’s why it’s okay if your podcast has a very specific group of people in mind. This group is far more likely to engage with your content and come back to listen from week to week. 😀

If you spread yourself too thin and try to cater to the whole world 🌎, you’ll likely be catering to no one at all. A podcast that caters to “everyone” ends up lacking a distinct voice, and the entire podcast will come off as boring. If that’s the case, it’s hard to imagine that new viewers will even stick around to listen to your current episode, let alone next week’s.

4. Create an Editorial Calendar 🗓

An editorial calendar is a visual workflow that helps podcasters (and other content creators) plan and schedule content. These can take the form of a traditional/digital calendar or be as simple as a Google spreadsheet. There isn’t a single “perfect” editorial calendar out there. Still, every effective editorial calendar has sections reserved to fill out things like the episode title, the topic of conversation, and the publishing date. Alternatively, you can use workflow software to automate your calendar. 📆

Why are editorial calendars so important? They help to organize important information all in one accessible place, and they also hold us accountable to research, record, and publish podcasts by certain due dates. Once you get in the habit of regularly updating and following your editorial calendar, you can more easily say goodbye to procrastination. 👋🏻

Having a schedule will help you and your podcast listeners alike. You’ll see growth in audience size simply by posting more and increasing your exposure. And your audience won’t feel left in the dust after you post a couple of episodes and then suddenly drop off the planet for a month. 

🔑 Key Insight: Your work isn’t done yet once you hit publish. To ensure you’re marketing your podcast correctly and growing your audience, ensure you’re not making these podcast promotion mistakes.

5. Pick Your Ideal Format 🎙

We need to preface this tip by saying there isn’t a universal format that’ll make you a podcasting sensation overnight. You need to pick a format that aligns with your goals and one that you can keep up with from week to week. ✔️

For instance, if you want to be as genuine and “raw” as possible, your best odds are to pick a conversation format that requires less planning. Or, let’s say you want to focus on the education side of a niche. An educational format can help you build authority, but this means you’ll need to buckle down and do more research than other formats. 🔎

Need more podcast ideas? You got it! These are some of the most common podcast formats used:

💬 Conversational

Two or more regular co-hosts will spend the episode talking about a new topic (as if they’re having a natural conversation among friends). This format encourages an authentic and genuine interaction between podcasters, which results in relatable content that resonates with the audience. Some podcast tips you can apply to create a consistent tone for your conversational podcast consist of:

😃 Setting up pre-show meetings to discuss the overall mood for the episode. That way, each co-host will be on the same page before hitting that “Record” button! 

🎵 Incorporating music that aligns with the podcast’s overall theme, style, and tone. On that note, remember you can always find royalty-free music and sound effects at Envato Elements

🗣 Establishing cue words as a subtle technique to transition between segments or signaling when there needs to be a change in tone or topic.

🧑🏻‍🏫️ Educational

The main focus is to teach and inform audience members about a topic. Not only do these types of podcasts spark curiosity, but they also contribute to the listener’s personal growth by answering common questions surrounding their theme of interest. Want to jump in on this format? Here are some podcast ideas for you to try out on each episode:

📚 Book reviews

🤯 Debunking myths

🏆 Success stories

🤔 FAQ sessions

📗 History lessons

🎤️ Interview

Plain and simple, a new and niche-relevant guest will appear on this podcast each upload. So, for example, if your program focuses on personal growth, some experts you could invite include psychologists, entrepreneurs, inspirational speakers, and purpose coaches. Is this the format for you? Great! Consider these podcast interview tips:

🔎 Previously researching your interviewee’s background to maintain an engaging conversation and ask thoughtful questions.

😄 Practicing active listening: respond accordingly to your guests’ answers, ask follow-up questions, and show genuine interest in their insights.

💬 Encouraging the conversation to flow naturally by sharing personal anecdotes, seizing the opportunity to open up the dialogue, and discussing different topics.

👸🏻 Solo

Arguably, it’s the easiest format to start. A host will have their monologue moment and be the superstar of the podcast. This allows you to create a personal bond with your audience while overseeing the direction and structure you want your podcast to follow. Now, some podcast tips for your solo journey include:

✅ Planning out the topics you’ll cover to ensure a steady episode flow.

🔉 Practicing your style, pacing, and pronunciation for the best podcast quality.

💭 Addressing your listeners’ questions to promote audience interaction.

🤯 Fictional Storytelling

In each episode, a story will continue to unfold. A single reader or several characters may act as voice actors. From captivating novelesque stories to spooky narrations, this podcast is all about keeping your audience engaged with a rich and compelling narrative. Ready to embark on this adventurous tale? Here are some genres you can explore for your podcast series:

😹 Comedy

🕵🏻 Mystery

😨 Thriller

👻 Horror

💖 Romance

🛸 Sci-fi

🧚🏻 Fantasy

🌍 Non-fictional Storytelling

It is the same as fictional storytelling, except it is based on a true story. With an unlimited number of stories to choose from, you could explore historical events, a series of mysteries, or the lives of worldwide-known figures. The overall idea is to let your audience dive deeper into an event or topic they are interested in. Of course, this type of format relies on top-tier narrative skills to keep listeners returning for more. That being said, these are some effective tips for starting a podcast you can apply to your program:

🔦 Search for stories that align with your podcat’s overall theme and audience’s interests. Be curious! There are interesting events, anecdotes, and people others might have overlooked.

🪝  Master the art of suspense! Once you’ve chosen your next story, craft the narrative to keep your audience hooked. You can set the tone by adding sound effects and music. Or, you could create a promise for each chapter by leaving open questions for the listeners or ending with cliffhangers.

🧑🏻‍🚀️ The people you’ll talk about are a pivotal part of your story. Therefore, take the time to understand their dreams, challenges, aspirations, and fears. That way, you’ll be able to present them to the audience as multidimensional individuals they can relate to rather than plain characters.

📰 News 

In each episode, a host or multiple co-hosts will discuss the latest news and events in a specific niche. Think of it this way: your program can become the go-to source whenever your audience needs insights or expert opinions on what’s buzzing. Needless to say, this format requires a lot of research, fact-checking, and data review. Accuracy is key to building authority and thrust within your listeners. Want to know how to ace it? Here are our top tips for starting a podcast that focuses on news:

🔎 Establish a fact-checking protocol to review all your info before recording each podcast. Preferably, gather your data from expert sources and authoritative sites, check the dates, and keep an eye out for any implicit bias. 

📆 Maintain a consistent schedule your audience can rely on for news content. On the one hand, regular episodes will help you keep your listeners engaged. Moreover, it’s a way of turning your podcast into a reliable source, thus enhancing your program’s credibility.

🎤️ Explain each topic in a way that’s concise and easy to grasp. Filling your podcast with confusing jargon won’t make you look like an expert. Instead, aim to make complex news topics understandable for your audience.

As with many aspects of your podcast, this can evolve and change over time, but building a dedicated audience requires consistency. So, whatever you choose, be prepared to stick with it for a while and ask your audience before making drastic changes once your audience forms.

6. Make Sure To Have All Your Podcasting Necessities to Launch 🚀

Coffee ready, notes out, and podcasting software ready to record – but then you realize you’re missing a critical piece of equipment. That’s a terrible feeling; we don’t want it to happen to you. That said, as part of our top tips for starting a podcast, here are the essential pieces you need to produce the best-quality episodes:

💻 Computer

While you can choose a smartphone if you value convenience more than quality, podcasters who want the best audio choose a computer for recording and editing.

🎤️ External Microphone

Your computer likely has a built-in microphone, but again, if quality is your goal, the built-in won’t cut it. Instead, invest in a good podcast microphone, and when recording, do your best to avoid background noise.

🔉 Pop Filter

When we talk into a microphone, an unpleasant popping noise can sometimes be heard in the final recording. This is most likely to happen when we annunciate our “B’s,” “P’s,” and “T’s.” That’s because our speech sends air currents toward the microphone – and when the currents are too fast – an audible popping noise is created. To avoid this, place a pop filter in front of a microphone.

🎙 Mic Stand

Having a mic stand makes podcasting that much easier. For one, it suspends your microphone in mid-air. This means that your microphone won’t be able to pick up subtle vibrations and knocks anymore. A mic stand usually also has a built-in feature to attach your pop filter to.

🎧 Headphones

Headphones are a necessity both during and after your recording session. Since we sound differently in person than we do through recording software, it’s important to actively listen to what’s being picked up in real time. You might also use headphones while playing back audio so that you can catch (and then eliminate) distracting noises.

🧑🏻‍💻️ Recording + Editing Software

Of course, you’ll need software to record and then edit your recordings. You may want to consider “free” software such as Audacity or Garageband at the start of your journey. As your podcasting demands grow, you can simply look for a paid, more professional option that will give you more control over your audio.

🌐 Podcast Hosting

We believe that paying for your podcast hosting is a good idea. You’ll have more control over your content and revenue, and you won’t have to worry about it disappearing without warning. Read this post from Podcast Generator on Free vs. Paid hosting to learn more.

7. Have Fun With It 🥳

When people start their podcasting journeys, it might be daunting, even when all the tips for starting a podcast at hand – we’ll admit that. You might feel uncomfortable behind the mic or concerned about whether you’re podcasting right. Still, we promise you that podcasting is and will get more fun with time and experience. 😄

As you learn the tricks of the trade and become more comfortable talking to your audience, you’ll actually start to enjoy the process. Remember that your voice can reveal a lot more to your audience than you think. A genuine, passionate, and vibrant host will have a much easier time connecting with fans and creating a lasting impression. 😌

Your Podcasting Journey Is About to Begin  😉

Podcasts are a unique and opportunity-filled medium that is getting more popular by the day. If you’ve read this far, what are you waiting for? It’s never been easier or cheaper to start a podcast. Technology is on your side, and your audience is waiting. However, no one else can take the leap for you. It’s time for you to step up to the mic! And when you do, we’ll be sitting on the sidelines and cheering you on! 👏🏻

Do you have any other tips for starting a podcast that helped you on this journey? Let us know in the comments! ✨

Exit mobile version